sports gazette

Manchester United’s journey to the Europa League final

Published: 25 May 2017

With around 19,500km travelled over the season, Manchester United spent more time travelling to their games than they spent playing on the pitch.

In the opening group game Manchester United travelled to Rotherham, where a late goal by Tony Trindade gave Feyenoord all three points.

For the first European home game of the season at Old Trafford, Manchester United welcomed Zorya. Jose Mourinho's men snuck past the Ukrainian team thanks to Zlatan Ibrahimovic's strike.

Having got off the mark in the last game Manchester United cruised to a 4 - 1 victory against Fenerbahçe. Paul Pogba was amongst the goal scorers as was Robin van Persie who grabbed a consolation goal on his return to Manchester.

The reverse fixture saw Fenerbahçe claim the victory. Wayne Rooney scored a late consolation after a superb acrobatic finish from Moussa Sow and a brilliant free kick from Jeremain Lens put the home team 2 - 0 up.

Manchester United needed a victory in their penultimate game of the group stages with progression hanging in the balance and they didn't disappoint as Rooney, Juan Mata and Jesse Lingard got on the score sheet for a comfortable 4 - 0 win at Old Trafford, rounded off with an own goal by Brad Jones.

The last group stage game saw Manchester United claim a comfortable 2 - 0 victory over Zorya with Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Ibrahimovic grabbing the crucial goals. The win confirmed their qualification into the knock-out stages as they finished second in the group.

Round of 32 pitted Manchester United up against St. Etienne. The match was a family affair as the Pogba brothers faced each other. The game saw Ibrahimovic grab a hat-trick at Old Trafford versus a team he loves to score against.

The return fixture was tame as Manchester United's name was firmly in the hat for the next round thanks to Mkhitaryan scoring an away goal.

Round of 16. Rostov vs Manchester United. Mkhitaryan got the all important away goal, however a late strike from Aleksandr Bukharov gave Rostov a glimmer of hope as the game ended as a draw.

Manchester United dominated the home game but were unable to find a route to goal as Ibrahimovic rattled the woodwork twice. However there was no stopping Mata as his goal was enough to send Mourinho's side into the quarter finals.

Quarter-final (first-leg). A dramatic late bullet header from Leander Dendoncker cancelled out Mkhitaryan's first-half strike. With the game finishing at 1 - 1 it was all to play for in Manchester.

The second-leg at Old Trafford was a nervous affair as Anderlecht cancelled out Manchester United's away goal and took the game into extra-time. The teams were separated by a magical goal from the young Marcus Rashford which sent Manchester United into the semis.

The first-leg of the semi-final saw the team travel to Spain to play against Celta Vigo. Manchester United dominated but were unable to take advantage as they wasted numerous opportunities. However, Rashford once again came to his teams rescue as he scored the all important away goal with a superb set-piece finish.

The return leg was anything but comfortable for the Old Trafford faithful as they survived a late scare to reach the final in Stockholm. Marouane Fellaini put the home team ahead in the first-half, however Celta Vigo pulled level and nearly snuck a late winner in injury time.

The Final. The pressure was on Manchester United to claim the victory which would not only crown them champions, but to cement their place in next seasons Champions League. They were in control of the game from the first minute to the last as goals from Pogba and Mkhitaryan sealed the win in Stockholm.

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